Virtual Reality's Use in Architecture

I was asked to a do a post about the use of virtual reality in architecture and I have spent a week and more ruminating on it as well as perusing things dealing with it.

One of the best articles (that tried making an extremely complex thing into a simple thing) was AppReal’s Virtual Reality for Architects piece, another one I enjoyed and made me think of possibilities was’s The Use of Virtual Reality in Architecture. Similarly this blog incorporates ideas and thoughts I got from Archsmarter’s 5 Ways Virtual Reality Will Change Architecture.

So, let’s start!

1. VR gives you a competitive edge

Sure, why not. You’re able to take your customers into the concept building and demonstrate how it is, how it works. Given that you know where the building is you can ray trace the light and create a photorealistic or even ultrarealistic building they can look around, explore. Similarly, you can change materials, surfaces, add things on the fly and so on. However, if you’re not careful you will end with a mess in the plan side and will need hours upon hours to fully clean it.

2. Be on the forefront of an industry trend

Again, yes, sure. However, as VR is being used more and more you will come to notice that everyone uses it, does it and while it allows a lot of things it too is flawed like augmented reality. The same problem applies to each other as it is the newest and hottest hot. People will be mesmerized by the “bling” and not see the depth for the surface and like with AR the depth of things that can be done will remain quite unexplored. We have a fix for this problem as a conceptual idea we’d love to explore with the professionals. Find out about it down the blog.

3. Low costs

True. From Google Cardboard to Vive the costs are low. However, in the end real-time ray tracing capable computers quickly run up the costs and to really make your work shine you want to have the best, since the biggest companies will have those. Like I noted before… Bling is a big thing. Also, you must factor into the costs the price of training to use the software as well as the hardware. The starting costs are low but the real costs might not be. Again, read on to see the idea we have.

4. Skip rounds of reworking things

Absolutely and the more you invest into the hardware the better and easier it is for you to sculpt the building or design you are creating. Which again leads to the nitty gritty of cleaning the mathematical end of the design. Which we can help with.

5. Simulate real-world

I’ve been following the list from Archsmarter, like you’ve most likely noticed, and I believe this simulation thing is both important, but also should always be included into things, automatically. How else can you really design and display your design if not in its proper place?

VR programs and layers you can use:

There are quite a few of these and they also comply to standards of the industry. Programs like Symmetry, IrisVR, ARQVR especially for Architects, TruVision to name a few. However, all these programs, while allowing for minor changes, are mostly for perusing your building you’ve created on other tools.

Versoteq’s idea for architectural VR:

We would love to find a partner to create this with. We would love to create a program, fore-end, what you will where you build the building in virtual reality. There’d a sophisticated system running in the background to help you, but the builder in the VR would be the one designing everything. So, in many ways we’d love to turn the design system upside down.

Build with tools and partly with free hand, free your mind to create things how you see them and from the point of view of the designer and the user. You needn’t worry about the mathematics or anything else as you run through the creative process. Once you have things set up as you wish, then Versoteq’s proprietary system called Refine3D will take over and you are represented with the end model you can then again change, give new surfaces, etc.

Of course, building is never this easy, but we can add automated systems like running the plumbing, electricity and so on into the model and once all this is done, it can once again be fixed for errors and you will end up with end schematics, blueprints and all the other needed things so you can have the project inspected. If you still have doubts you can load your project into your mobile and take your building to the site you’re considering and run it there in augmented reality to make sure things are up to your ideas and standards.

This file then can be transferred to an architect or building officials for inspections. Once everything has been checked and found to be correct the building contractor can then start their work for you.

What do you think of this idea? Would you like to build it with us?